The Saxon Bride
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by C.H. Admirand
Category: Romance/Historical Fiction
Description: Will Lady Eyreka become a tenant on her own land, or boldly step forward and offer herself as bride? Merewood Keep is just beginning to earn revenues and with her son as it's overlord. When King William decides to gift the newly rebuilt keep to one of his favored knights, she is devastated until she hears the rumors that the Norman is widowed. Augustin de Chauret has no desire to marry, nor live in England. But his liege lord has gifted him with a keep and now a wife. But will the Saxon beauty be willing to raise his motherless daughter and teach her how to run a keep?
eBook Publisher: DCL Publications LLC, 2007 Australia
eBookwise Release Date: August 2007
31 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [283 KB]
Reading time: 184-258 min.
"Historical romances are one of my favorite genres to read. Well-written historical romances send me into a reading nirvana. I reached that and more with THE SAXON BRIDE. Having read The Lord of Merewood Keep, also by C. H. Admirand, I was well acquainted with some of the characters and found myself fully immersed in the story of Eyreka, Garrick's mother. I loved her tenacity and faithfulness in The Lord of Merewood Keep and I have to say that she came into her own with THE SAXON BRIDE. I found her gentle but strong, and a force to be reckoned with. Augustin was my idea of the definitive warrior. Strong, gruff, and loyal to his dead wife's memory, his capitulation to loving Eyreka was just magnificent. I couldn't help but fall in love with Augustin myself. THE SAXON BRIDE by C. H. Admirand highlights her talent as a writer. As both a reviewer and a fan, I love watching her writing evolve. I anxiously await her next novel in this gripping and emotional series!
Blue Ribbon Rating: 5 "--Natasha Smith, Romance Junkies
"C.H. Admirand's newest novel, The Saxon Bride, is a sequel to her first release with The Dark Castle Lords, The Lord of Merweood Keep. I had the great pleasure of reviewing that first book, and as much as I enjoyed that one, I loved the second story even more! Admirand writes a wonderful historical, and the reader is immersed completely in the worlds she creates. Her characters are believably real, and she effortlessly creates empathy for them from the very first chapter, maintaining that empathy throughout the story. We first met Eyreka in The Lord of Merewood Keep, where she was introduced as the young widowed mother of that story's hero, Garrick. She proved her mettle during the trials she and her daughter in law suffered in that book, and her strength of will and character are even more evident in The Saxon Bride. She will do anything, sacrifice anything, for the good of her people and her children.
It is this strength that ultimately draws the gun shy Augustin to her. While forced to marry her by the King, he was determined not to love any woman again, fearful of losing a loved one again as he lost his beloved but fragile first wife. Likewise, the fairness and reason he demonstrates with his rule of the keep serve to allay Eyreka's worries regarding the kind of man she has married, and foster a deep love for him rivaling that which she shared with her first husband. Of course, the couple experiences a good many trials and a bit of angst before they find their way to each other. The author provides both internal antagonists in the shape of their fears of loving again, and external antagonists in the form of the residents of the keep who balk at the 'intruders', Augustin's men who are reluctant to accept Eyreka as his wife, and a mysterious threat to all inside the keep.
Readers new to C.H. Admirand's work will be happy to know that The Saxon Bride can easily be read as a standalone novel and make complete sense. Of course, it is enhanced by reading its prequel first, as you will be privy to the relationships and nuances to the story that are told in The Lord of Merewood Keep. I can't recommend both of these books strongly enough! Rating: 4.5 Klovers"--Jennifer, CK2s Kwips and Kritiques
"The king awaits."
The attendant's words burned themselves into Lady Eyreka's mind. Her hands trembled. She clasped them tighter together and nodded. Her mind whirled. Needing to concentrate and remember all she planned to say, she thought of her eldest son, Garrick, and his wife, Jillian. Their love had suffused itself into the very stones of Merewood Keep's foundations and were at the very heart of her people's existence.
This was her only chance.
"I cannot fail," she whispered. Her family's home was about to be wrested from their grasp and would be as if all Garrick and Jillian had gone through to rebuild was for naught.
She took a deep cleansing breath, and hurried to catch up to the young servant. For the second time in her life, she would bargain with the gods in exchange for those she loved. Would this Norman be as eager to accept her as part of the spoils of war as her first husband had?
Her stomach clenched. She was no longer the innocent young woman who had bravely ridden into their enemy's embrace. She had three grown sons, and the scars to prove it. In a few months she would reach her fortieth summer.
As she walked along the corridor, she thought of all the reasons the Norman might accept her. The years had been kind to her. She still had all of her teeth and only a few wrinkles about her eyes. Looking down she frowned at the streaks of gray running through her hair.
Mayhap the years had not been as kind as she thought.
What man would want her, when he could have a much younger maid for a wife? Her footsteps echoed about her. Was her plan doomed before she had a chance to offer it? She clamped down on her traitorous thoughts when the attendant paused in front of a closed door. Before she could tell the young man she'd changed her mind, he opened the door with a flourish and bade her enter.
Fear speared through her, but she focused on the sight before her.
King William sat on a massive oak chair set on a dais. He was larger than she had imagined. His mien was arrogant; his very posture reeking of power. But it was not so much his size, as the fierce frown on his face that terrified her. This man had the power to grant her desire, or have the head lifted from her shoulders with the wave of his hand.
At his nod to enter, she inclined her head and prayed that her legs would cooperate. Though they wobbled, she hid that fact by walking slowly toward where he sat. At the edge of the dais, she sank to her knees in homage.
While she waited for him to recognize her show of fealty, her mind raced, caught up in a whirlwind of emotion. This man alone was responsible for the death of thousands of good Saxon thanes. Had he given the command to shoot the arrow that had ended her husband's life?
She gripped her quaking hands together to still their movement while her stomach churned and a sour, bilious taste surged up her throat, thinking of the ugly wound the Norman arrow had left behind. Though strong threads closed the cauterized wound, 'twas of no use, the arrow had pierced her husband's heart. Helpless to do otherwise, she had held her dying husband in her arms, whispering words of prayer to her own Viking gods, and Addison's Christian God for good measure.